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Now they’re asking for your help to scoop the money.
A Sussex-based dads’ group has reached the final three for a prestigious UK community grant scheme worth £20,000.
Dad La Soul, founded by Dan Flanagan from Worthing, beat out more than 850 bigger organisations to reach the shortlist for Boost Drinks’ ‘Choose Now, Change Lives’ campaign.
For the last six years, the outfit – a grassroots, volunteer-run fathers’ support group – has organised innovative dad-and-child-friendly playdates around Sussex and plans to use the money to expand nationally.
“We know from challenging personal experience that dadulthood doesn’t come with a rulebook,” says Dan. “With Boost’s fantastic support, Dad La Soul will produce a series of innovative online events that bring socially isolated and lonely dads from all over the UK together to meet, create friendships and access free mental health support while also enjoying live performances from comedians and musicians as well as talks, interviews and more in a safe, friendly environment.”
Boost Drinks, an independent UK-based functional drinks company, launched the ‘Choose Now Change Lives’ initiative this year as part of the brand’s 20th anniversary celebrations. The aim is to support local organisations and groups that benefit their community and positively impact people’s lives.
In a recent survey amongst their members, Dad La Soul found that 73% felt socially isolated or lonely, 62% lacked companionship, while and 76% felt left out of family life.
With support from Comic Relief and the Wellness Advice team at Adur & Worthing Council amongst others, these Dad La Soul Sessions have already attracted interest from dads from Germany, Hungary and across the UK.
“We have already piloted this with great success during lockdown and want to continue building and developing the foundation so that it can be used nationwide, for UK dads and beyond,” says Dan. “The Dad La Soul Sessions are a completely new and innovative approach to tackling a huge societal problem. Suicide kills 96 men under the age of 45 every week in the UK – we cannot continue to stand by and let this continue unchallenged.”
If successful, the grant will go to developing their special online sessions that mixes stand-up comedy, mental health awareness and wellness with live guests and private breakout areas.
To be in with a chance of winning the £20,000, Dad La Soul needs your support to help spread the word across social media to win the public vote. Voting is now open and will close on Friday 3 September. You can cast your own vote at: https://buff.ly/2Ul1hr